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SES Conference Summary
August 4, 2004
Our marketing director, Jerry West, was scheduled to attend the SES Conference in San Jose, see Van Halen, and attend his 20-year high school reunion (Branham High alumn). However, Van Halen is stopping in Salt Lake, and Robin Nobles and John Alexander of Search Engine Workshops asked him to speak at their Advanced Workshop in Las Vegas. Thanks to Andy Beal for providing solid coverage of the SES Conference. Here are some highlights and commentary from our staff:
The Round Table Discussion included:
Gerry Campbell - AOL
Paul Gardi - Ask Jeeves
Christopher Payne - MSN
Jeff Weiner - Yahoo!
AOL: They are not going to focus on web search and will continue to rely on Google to supply them with results. They look at investing in their own search as "throwing money down the hole." It has been suggested that maybe AOL doesn't have the funds to invest in their own search. That is a big maybe, as with over one billion searches per month, they have the foundation needed.
Were very grateful to the professional SEOs and stated that SEO was "one of the best things ever to happen to the industry". The reason? The search engines were able to figure out how to make money online from SEOs. Nice.
Ask Jeeves: In just one year they have grown from the #32 most visited site to #7. They claim to reach 25% of Internet users, but that statement is a reach in itself.
Ask Jeeves: "(SEMs) help to make ads more relevant" and they fully support the good side of SEO.
MSN: They made the commitment to get involved in search 18 months ago and "hope" to release new technologies over the next 12 months. Hope? Are they backpeddling again as they are about to miss another milestone? They still hope to deliver the desktop search this year, but the tone suggests they may miss the launch date yet again.
The new search will contain the following:
- The fastest results in the business
- Paid inclusion will be eliminated
- Newsbot, which will allow personalization of delivered news to a user
Spam degrades the user experience and devalues the SEO and SEM industry.
Regarding Paid Search: bids will continue to go up over the next twelve months due to demand, new competitors entering the market, and more and more searches being done.
Yahoo!: They currently have over 150 million registered users and Yahoo! wants to understand the intent of each one. Quite the undertaking.
Yahoo! is looking to give the users a "WOW" experience each time they use their portal to get them to keep coming back again and again.
Good SEO is welcomed by Yahoo! as it provides relevant results to Yahoo! users. Bad, irrelevant results are the enemy, not SEO.
Tip: By added an exclamation point to various keywords, you can be taken directly to that property within the Yahoo! Network. For example, typing in "shopping!" will take you directly to Yahoo! Shopping.